The Gullies is the first artist residency of its type in Rangitīkei. It's the idea of Marton farmer, Laura Morrison.
"An artist residency is an opportunity where an artist can come and spend time and produce work or even use that time on incubating ideas," Morrison said.
The converted shearers' quarters, usually an AirBnB, will be home for the artist who will also have the use of a purpose-built studio.
Some public events are planned around the January residency, and the eight weeks of prime BBQ season means it will likely be social. Morrison is hoping it will nurture similarities between town and country rather than divisions.
"In this day and age when there's so much critique and beratement around how an artist might live, with too high expectations on not having a 'real job', or how farmers might farm without having respect for the environment, I think those generalisations need to be myth-busted.
"It's a three-pronged approach I guess in wanting to foster optimistic conversations between farmers and artists," she said. "The reality is we can offer it to the arts community, but also to our farming communities as well."
Laura and Richard Morrison have two boys, and Morrisons have farmed the area for six generations.
The residency is an idea Morrison has had since she studied Art History at university.
The first residency was awarded to well-known Auckland artist Andrew McLeod. His experience of the Rangitīkei and nearby regions is typical of many New Zealanders'.
"Lots of State Highway 1, New Plymouth a bit, Whanganui a little bit, Palmy a little bit."
The January residency will come at the perfect time for McLeod who is planning to spend the time drawing, digital painting and composing to formulate ideas for new paintings. As long as everything goes to plan.
"Lockdown's changed everything, whether stuff gets pushed out, exhibitions... I've got my big painting show in Wellington hopefully and that's what I'm doing in this lockdown."
McLeod says the self-motivated nature of the residency was appealing.
"That seems kind of nice in a way, they've just done it on their own, something they want to do. It's not like they don't have anything else to do - farm, young family. I've got to admire the initiative and energy," McLeod said.
After his show at Robert Heald Gallery, planned for October, two months of rural immersion will be a change of pace. Morrison likes the idea of an artist hopping on the spare quad bike with a helmet and getting out on the farm.
"This is a way for artists to come and spend time on our farm and observe our practices," Morrison said. "Richard and I are farmers who are incredibly transparent with our farming practice.
"We will also drop them off on the farm anywhere they want to go. We've got 60 hectares of native bush, which we are continually adding to with a tree-planting programme."
Morrison hopes to also create a residency for an emerging artist, but says it would require funding.
In the meantime the studio, once built, will be available for booking free of charge, to any artist with a Rangitīkei address who would benefit from having their own space for a few hours a month.
Made with funding from